According to a
recent study conducted jointly by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and the IMRB International, cyber cafes in India account for a substantial share of 39 per cent for Internet access points. Although this share has declined from 52 per cent in 2003, it continues to dominate the Internet access graph in India.
Another category that has shown a significant rise in share is Internet access from home. It has risen from 23 per cent in 2003 to 31 per cent in 2006 and it also seems to be the likely cause for the cyber cafes' loss of market share.
Internet access from offices, on the other hand, showed only a marginal increase to 22 per cent from 20 per cent in 2003. One of the critical findings of the study has been the insignificant rise in share of Internet access from schools and colleges, which increased to a mere 6 per cent from 3 per cent in 2003. As Internet access from schools and colleges plays a crucial role in reducing the digital and socioeconomic divide by creating next generation users, this becomes a major cause for concern.
The study also reveals the factors affecting Internet access in the country due to demographic segmentation. Around 53 per cent of school going kids in the age group of 12-17 years and 53 per cent of college going students in the age group of 18-23 years access the Internet from cyber cafes, followed by 46 per cent of non-working women, aged below 45 years and unemployed.
Non-working women also account for Internet access from homes with the highest percentage of access (47 per cent), followed by older men in the age group of 35 to 58 years (39 per cent).
Older men and working women aged 18 to 45 years both dominate Internet access from offices, with shares of 41 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively.
On analysing the socioeconomic classifications, home access is prominent amongst SEC A and B users, who account for 15 and 20 per cent of the overall population in urban India, respectively. Going down the socioeconomic order, this proportion declines considerably, as Internet access from cyber cafes is dominant among SEC D and E users.
On the other hand, access from schools and colleges goes up from 3 per cent to 12 per cent between SEC A and SEC D and E users.
In all, the study highlights the need to strengthen Internet access from schools and colleges as well as public access points so that easy and quality Internet access can be granted to the non-affluent classes.
© 2006 agencyfaqs!